The benefits of strategic planning and its essential role in the development of companies have been well-researched and acknowledged. At that, it is also important to consider some of the major challenges strategic planners may encounter. One of these issues to be addressed is the diversity that has become a characteristic feature of the majority of organizations (Bryson, 2018). Strategic planning often involves the collaboration of people who have different values, backgrounds, and visions.
This diversity makes the planning process rather complex at the stages of planning and implementation. In order to mitigate the possible negative effects of diversity, it is essential to ensure that the planning team consists of people having a similar vision and are committed to similar goals.
Weak leadership can become another factor contributing to the development of an ineffective strategic plan and its unsuccessful implementation (Ebener & Smith, 2015). The leader has to have a vision and be able to articulate it. This person should also be able to inspire the rest of the employees to focus on a set of goals and objectives. In some cases, leaders lack character, and although the developed plan can be perfect, the company will fail since the strategic plan is not followed.
Ambiguity is another problem to consider when developing a strategic plan. Abdallah and Langley (2013) state that ambiguity can lead to innovation as employees may interpret the plan differently and come up with different business ideas. In this situation, ambiguity can be a beneficial factor, but the positive influence is often short-lived. In the long run, ambiguity can lead to conflicts and inadequate interpretation and implementation of the plan, which can result in serious issues for the organization. Therefore, it is critical to make sure that the strategic plan is as clear as possible. A discussion of the plan can be beneficial as it will bring the planners and the rest of the employees together to clarify any points that can be unclear.
Abdallah, C., & Langley, A. (2013). The double edge of ambiguity in strategic planning. Journal of Management Studies, 51(2), 235-264. Web.
Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Ebener, D. R., & Smith, F. L. (2015). Strategic planning: An interactive process for leaders. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.